So I’m talking to some people and someone says that people don’t care about the fact they’re wasting Energy, that people just don’t think.
Even though they know about Global Warming and the risks of dangerous Climate Change, and they know about the connection between burning Fossil Fuels and Global Warming, they just don’t care about how much Energy they’re using.
And I know this is heresy to say so, but I said that people shouldn’t have to think about Energy, that they shouldn’t be made to feel guilty about using Energy. I said that the Energy that is provided to them should be Carbon-free and responsibility-free. People shouldn’t be forced to act against their nature. Energy is effectively free at the moment. It’s way cheap, even cheaper than food for a lot of people. So people use it. People love using Energy.
I said if Energy were more like Money, then people would pay attention to how much they were spending. In the group it was mentioned that Energy prices would have to rise quite high to change peoples’ behaviour with Energy. And I said, it would be unwise to raise the cost of Energy because that would create a much larger underclass, joining the other people who find it hard to pay for food and fuel. I said that high Carbon pricing would destroy Society.
Then someone mentioned inverse tariffs, where Energy consumers would get a certain amount uncharged each year, but if they used more, they would have to pay more. And the more they used, the more they would be expected to pay for each unit. And I said this might be quite difficult to get agreement for, but that my conclusion was broadly similar. I said that the logical end point with Energy waste is Energy rationing, putting a value on keeping your Energy waste down.
(Someone asked if I meant Personal Carbon Trading. I said, no, not quite. New Renewable Energy infrastructure will require time and investment, so for the time being, we cannot have all the Carbon-free Energy we would like : Energy rationing is a logical approach.)
Energy should be a right, I said, everyone should have access to Energy. In fact, it should be free, until people started to use it beyond their fair share. I said it is the responsiblity of the Energy suppliers to de-Carbonise, and the responsibility of the Government to prevent Energy waste. Not enough of the citizens care sufficiently to make any difference on the problem of Energy waste or Carbon emissions. It has to be corrected at source.
I said we should stop taking Fossil Fuels out of the ground and burning them. Someone mentioned Mark Lynas’ book Six Degrees and how the human race is burning millions of years of ancient sunlight energy each 12 months in the form of Coal, Oil and Natural Gas.
I said that the end point of all our policies is that the Fossil Fuel companies will be going out of business, and that it’s time that they accepted it, and de-Carbonised their primary Energy sources.
I’ve seen the studies, I said, and we could easily have 40% of the country’s electricity from Wind Power, and 70% – 90% of the country’s gas from BioMethane.
(I said that Wind Turbines pay back in all three areas, Money, Carbon and Energy, within 5 to 10 years : it’s always going to be profitable to go green. Although it will cost up-front for the investment.)
The Energy Revolution needs to be an Evolution. Ordinary people should not be blamed for using Energy. Energy should be a public good, a human right, a development need supplied.
I said there needs to be the vision that every flick of a light switch turns on a wind turbine somewhere.
Many other things were said. But at least I stood up for the little people. The people who can’t be too hard on themselves, who don’t understand Energy and shouldn’t be held accountable for Carbon Emissions.
Give us Clean Energy and don’t make us pay for it.